Chicago Q Ensemble, Maverick Ensemble, James Falzone, Palomar | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Chicago Q Ensemble, Maverick Ensemble, James Falzone, Palomar Agenda Soundboard Recommended

When: Sat., Aug. 11, 5 p.m. 2012

Clarinetist James Falzone covers lots of genres in his work, but his projects usually favor one at a time—his quartet Klang is a jazz band, for instance, and the Allos Musica Trio draws on the forms and sounds of Arabic music. But the solo performance on his recent DVD release Sighs Too Deep for Words (Allos Documents), whose title comes from Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans, derives not from a genre but from a spiritual state. Falzone's intent is to have improvisation act as a contemplative practice; put another way, his playing is prayer. The variety of approaches that he employs over the disc's 54 minutes—the solemn tolling of prayer bells, fragile reed multiphonics, tangles of piercing, writhing tones—not only displays the full range of his technique but also speaks to the breadth of spiritual experience, from serenity to struggle. This afternoon he'll play a shorter version of the piece as part of the Thirsty Ear Festival (see Three Beats); at 4:15 PM all the assembled musicians will perform Ben Vida's Liminal Bends, followed by Palomar, Falzone, the Maverick Ensemble, and the Chicago Q Ensemble. Everything but the Vida piece will be broadcast live on WFMT 98.7 FM. Note the early start time. —Bill Meyer

Price: $10

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